Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Wishing to Hold

  If you know my wife, she loves to shop, and when she shops she loves to touch everything.  She will say, "I want to see that," which means she want's to touch that. ( Jason, my BFF, just interrupted my blogging.) We all like to hold things, to see if we like the feel, the weight, the smell, or what ever. It's not just looks, but if a bond is formed while holding, its the experiencing of.. So it is with the things of God. We want to hold, feel, touch, try it on, see if it fits, and if a bond is formed. We want to experience it.. But most of the time it's never holding, feeling, but seeing from a Distance.  Never really holding, but sometimes feeling. Never really seeing, but catching glimpses from afar.  "For we walk by faith and not by sight." and "faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things Not Seen."  So, we have these moments when we sense, pause and hear the echo of our souls longing for a home more glorious than this we have. Wanting to be Clothed in something non parishable, more than this latest fad.  Yes, We all want to touch, feel, smell, experience, this life God has called us to. But the cares of this world drown the sounds of the heaven from us. The things of this world numbs our touch of the world not seen; our eyes become weary of looking, but never seeing. Our ears become dull of listening without ever hearing. 
  "I want to see that." It forever echos in my walk of faith.

"These all died in faith, not having received the things promised, but having seen them and greeted them from afar, and having acknowledged that they were strangers and exiles on the earth. For people who speak thus make it clear that they are seeking a homeland. If they had been thinking of that land from which they had left, they would have had opportunity to return."

(Hebrews 11:13-15 ESV)

Saturday, December 17, 2011

Releasing the Artists

  Ernest Hemingway where are you? JR Tolkenn, are you still writing? Michelangelo, show us God touching man. Van Gogh, give us another "Starry Night" to behold. Robert Frost,  give us a path less traveled.
For to long our schools have celebrated these people and their work, but we haven't allowed our kids to inspire to be them for "practical" reasons. Our churches have not celebrated them because of tradition. Our society doesn't value them because of monitary value, the lack there of. Our kids write, and we tell them that's nice.. Our kids paint us pictures and we hang them on the fridge and tell them to take their school work seriously. They join a theater group and we ask them when they are going to grow up.
 Yes in the church we are no different. Have we stopped to listen to their hearts? Have we helped free that which is inside of them? What is the fire in their soul?
"There may be a great fire in our Soul yet no one ever comes to Warm himself at it and the Passer-by see only a wisp of smoke comin through the chimney and go along their way." Vincent Van Gogh
Are we stopping by the fire of our kids' souls? Are we warming up to them?
Van Gogh's last words "the sadness will never go away", what is this sadness he speaks? I believe it's the loneliness, The sadness of expressing the unexpressible and no one knowing, hearing, no one stopping to see what is being told.
 Artists take their giftings from God. Van Gogh said, ""Christ is more of an artist than the artist, he works in the living spirit and the living flesh; He makes men instead of statues". Jesus drew our attention to the sower in the field, the birds of the air, flowers and lillies, the faces of the poor and widows.
  Let them paint their Sisten Chapel and have God touch man once more that we may see more clearly the colors of Creation. Let them write and read like the poets of old to express the pains and joys this life offers, and philosophers they are. Let them tell the tales of the heart and soul that grap our attention and tell us of things we have not yet seen.  Yes, let's warm by the fires of their souls. Let them Express the Unexpressible in our churches and give the Great Artist His Art Back in return.

Monday, December 12, 2011

You are More than you Know..

    I believe we are created for an Adventure, something more than we understand or know. In the book, The Hobbit, Gandalf tells Bilbo Baggins, the Hobbit, “there is more to you than you know.” And so it is with us, we are this mixture of flesh and blood, but infused with this breath of Heaven. So we are at home in this earthen body, comfortable to climb into our hobbit holes and just exist; but there is something divine in us that craves adventure, something more. Yet we are all too often taught and pressured from those around us to suppress this “Call of the Wild” for something tamer, more manageable, more safe. We love reading the stories of adventure and risk, and we love to applaud those that go on these rare adventures, but we justify in our spirits that it’s only for a select few. We say, “I could never do that.” And so we climb back into our burrows and hunker down for a “normal”, “Safe” life like everyone else.

    Yet something awakens in us when we seek the Ancient Paths. When we awaken that which was breathed into us so long ago, that Breath of Heaven blows over the ambers of our hearts causing a fresh fire to light, and it is this fire if fanned will set ablaze our spirits and souls for something greater than ourselves. It requires Risk. It is not Safe.. It requires Faith, not security. It sees things as they could be and not as things are.
    See yourself as a Tree; our roots going down deep into the soil clinging to this earth in which it finds it’s security and stability, and As this tree grows so does its roots, digging ever deeper holding on to this world like there is no other. Yet, this same tree also grows upward, stretching out its branches in Every possible direction to reach the Heaven above as if something unseen is drawing it from the very core of this earth to risk the damaging winds, the violent storms, the cold of the winter night, and the furious heat of summer for something outside of itself. If the tree doesn’t branch out into the heavens it will never accomplish that which it was created for, to give shelter to others, provide shade for the hot, tired and worn. It offers its branches as a resting place for the birds of the air, animals to cling to for security to escape the dangers in the world, as well as nurishment for the hungry. For a tree to do this it must expose that which is weakest. It is that which is frailest that provides the greatest comfort. The blossom, the fruit, the leaves, all which add to the tree’s beauty is actually the weakest..and so it is with us. We stretch out for the unseen; Something in heaven that beacons us to come, and as our roots stay in the soil of this earth our branches reach out, and we expose that which is weakest so that God can use that to comfort those around us.
    Yes, there is more to you than you know. “You are beautifully and wonderfully made.” “And God made Man in His image and He Breathed into him the Breath of Life.”

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Ordinary? A Bush, A Manger, or Swaddling Clothes.. Or Spirit Filled?

     I could read forever, but the thoughts and Ideas I have keep coming to mind and I feel if I don’t stop and write about them they could be lost forever; or sunk deep down waiting on the next surge to raise them from the depths of my Soul.
      We now embark on this journey towards Christmas, approaching quicker each day, a season focusing on the Birth of Jesus. I’ve been reading some from a book called Windows to the Soul, by Ken Gire. Today a thought came up and I don’t want to let it go; the thought that Jesus being born in a manger was not the first time Deity stepped into the most lowly of places, but an echo of the Great I AM that choose to clothe Himself in a Burning Bush. He could have shown himself as Mighty Angel, A thundering Voice that shook the mountains, or a Chariot of Fire coming out of heaven, but instead the GREAT I AM picks a shrubbery, A bush.. Why? They are so common in the area. But maybe that is why. Maybe He chooses those ordinary things to display His Glory. Nothing special about a bush, it’s just any old bush, but when God comes in to that bush a Miracle happens. Something that has never been seen before happens. Heaven comes into contact with earth, and humanity is touched. In touching one millions are effected. So it is with Christ coming to Earth, born of a Virgin, wrapped in swaddling clothes lying in a manger. Once again, Heaven comes into contact with earth, and Humanity is touched forever.. Millions are effected… Nothing special about the manger. The miracle happens when the Great I AM chooses to wrap Himself in Humanity and take on the likeness of Man. Something that has never been done before, or ever will.
     But wait…. What does this mean to me?  You see, we are that burning bush. We are the empty manger. We are the swaddling clothes. Now Christ comes into Humanity through us and this is the Miracle. Nothing special about each of us, just ordinary bushes in the desert of life living each day as we know how; BUT GOD then comes in, and we become that miracle. That Burning Bush. That typical empty manger now is housing the Son of God. Our Ordinary life is that which now wraps The Great I AM. “Know you Not that your Body is the Temple of the Holy Spirit.” 1 Corinthians 6:19. “It’s no longer I who Live but Christ lives in me.” Galatians 2:20
    God loves to come into the ordinary, the down and out, the least of these I believe, because it is in our frailness and weakness that His strength can be seen the most. He isn’t looking for Perfect Vessels, He is looking for Yielded Vessels. Any Bush will do. Any manger will work. Any pair of swaddling clothes He can make do with. They just need to have room for him to come in.
    I Corinthians 1: 26-30 For consider your calling, brothers: not many of you were wise according to worldly standards, not many were powerful, not many were of noble birth. But God chose what is foolish in the world to shame the wise; God chose what is weak in the world to shame the strong;God chose what is low and despised in the world, even things that are not, to bring to nothing things that are, so that no human being might boast in the presence of God. And because of him you are in Christ Jesus

Merry Christmas…

Friday, December 2, 2011

But God!!

 This is the Key God has been using with me this week to unlock those doors that seem locked and rusted shut.
  Have you ever had a dream that seemed impossible? Have you ever had a dream and had it die in front of you? Have you hoped for something so much that when it didn’t happen you felt like Giving up, that you just can’t go on? That you feel like your soul just died? I know I have. Even now I feel this pangs of this where I am in my life.

   David wrote in Psalms 143:7 “Answer me Quickly O Lord, my spirit fails; Do not hide your face from me, or I will be like those that go down into the Pit.”
   Or even Isaiah 63:19 “We have become like those over whom You have never ruled, Like those who were Not Called by Your Name.”
  I feel the truth of these verses. I am bruised. Crushed. I feel like I’m about to go down into the Pit. For who can Praise God in the Grave? How does being Buried in the ground or in despair glorify God? What is my life right now? Do those around me look at me and say, “He looks like those who were Not Called by God’s name”?
  So much fear. So much uncertainty. So many other options. What is God doing? What is He bringing about?  With all these fears, worries, and anxieties comes this "BUT GOD."  Romans 5:8 "But God Demonstrated His Love for us in while we were yet sinners Christ died for us." ... BUT GOD!! I know you have fears that cripple you. BUT GOD.. I know you drowning in anxiety and feels like you can't grasp your next breathe, BUT GOD.. You feel like quiting, you don't want to go on anymore.. BUT GOD..  How does this apply???
"BUT when the fullness of time had come, GOD sent forth his Son" Galatians 4:4.  "He (GOD) who did not spare His own Son, BUT delivered Him over for us all, how will He (GOD) not also with Him freely give us all things?" Romans 8:32
  We can't make it. We weren't meant to make it on our own. We were meant to make it with God. He sent His Son in to the world that we "might have life and have it more abundantly." Jesus said, "My Peace I give, not as the world gives." "I am the way, the truth, the Life." "Come to me all who are weak and heavy burdened and I will give you rest."  But God, took the cares of this world on his Shoulders. But God made a way for you financially. "My God shall supply all your needs according to His Riches in Glory." 
 Let me end with this. BUT God thought.. " No temptation has overtaken you that is not common to man. God is faithful, and he will not let you be tempted beyond your ability, but with the temptation he will also provide the way of escape, that you may be able to endure it." 1 Corinthians 10:13